Telstar’s Best Of Dance ’96 sees a return to business as usual after the one-off rebrand that was The Best Of Dance Mania ’95. The 44 track allocation is retained; a little too much for comfort given the inevitable truncation that arises. This time: “seriously big dance hits”.
You’ll have already read my thoughts on many of these tunes in previous reviews. So I’ll be selective. We start with two whoppers; a brace of the year’s top anthems. Underworld’s Born Slippy or Born Slippy .NUXX (short ii) [… short] played over Trainspotting’s pivotal final scene. The soon-to-be-closed Screen Cinema on D’Olier Street being the popcorn venue. Dublin Film Festival haunt too. It’s followed by The Prodigy’s rebirth, Firestarter which is ignited by elements from The Breeders’ SOS and The Art Of Noise’s Close (To The Edit). Meanwhile the Macarena ying-yang goes south on the Los Del Mar misstep.
Disco juice: Gat Decor’s inventive Passion and Duke’s bouncy boogie So In Love With You. Spanish house: David Penn mixes James Brown samples on the chugging Night Train. And Pizzaman is back with the filtered beats of Trippin’ On Sunshine while Awesome 3 put the very lovely Julie McDermott on vocals for Don’t Go ’96. For the superior older version check out Now Dance Summer ’94 . Killer A: Leftfield’s searching, soaring and jubilant Release The Pressure. And B: Sneaker Pimps’ haunting trip hop 6 Underground. Moody, delicious and disturbing. Elsewhere N-Trance’s Electronic Pleasure is exactly so.
A remixed S-Express theme is out of time. Yet it still reached #14. Better – Apollo 440’s percussive Krupa. Just in – Professional Widow; a smash to follow in ’97. Cloakroom belter – Huff and Puff’s Help Me Make It. Kris needs it. Space spaced out on the Me And You remix. Get the Deep Zone spell; minimal tech-trance of It’s Gonna Be Alright. Ibiza’s melter Frank ‘O Moiraghi’s Feel My Body touched up by Rollo. I’m not mad on Junior Vasquez’s If Madonna Calls but Tanya Louise’s Deep In You cuts quite a soulful rug.
RoMo: a musical and clubbing movement begat by glam and stylish pop, 1995 to 1997. London based, Club Skinny vs Arcadia. Championed by Melody Maker but hated by the NME. Simon Price and Taylor Parkes. One of the main novers were Orlando, all alienated white soul. And a late addition to the party were Belvedere Kane. The frontman being Barry Stone who would become half of the Jewels and Stone writing and production duo. Never Felt As Good is the closing track on this compilation; a devastatingly brilliant slice of doomed romantic modernism. Sadly it failed to trouble the top 75 and has never been compiled elsewhere. A well kept secret and one pop’s lost classics. Savour its greatness.
“I only took the bare essentials,
the things I’d really need
– my oldest Motown records,
my Abba hits CDs”
Underworld – Born Slippy
The Prodigy – Firestarter
Sneaker Pimps – 6 Underground
Leftfield – Release The Pressure
N-Trance – Electronic Pleasure
Lest we forget
Belvedere Kane – Never Felt As Good